Monday, December 29, 2008

Pet Peeves and Dishonors

Year in Review: Part 2 of 5

I had to stretch to find unworthy characters for my 2008 Cinematic Hall of Shame list. I skipped most of those movies you might find below 30% on the tomatometer for example. But I found a few things to poke a stick at nonetheless. Read it and weep.

<-- That's better! Stop Edward's pervy staring and Bella's endless moping and Twilight immediately becomes more bearable.

[pet peeve tangent] I really hate the Twilight logo. On its on it's totally attractive/cute but how does it properly represent the book/movie? What is that dangling curlicue g for anyway? It makes the property look fanciful/playful not mopey/romantic. It suggests nothing so much as the dangling lightning bolt "P" in the book/movie the media loves to compare Twilight too. Yes, it screams 'You'll like this as much as you like Harry Potter! We hope!!!' Aside from moody teenagers what do those franchises really have in common anyway in terms of temperament? [/tangent]

On the Hall of Shame page, you'll find that one of the normal fields (the pet peeves chart) is empty this year. I'm going to let you fill it out. Load up these comments with minor moments, characters, films, thingamajigs, trends and whatever that you found most annoying in 2008 movies and I'll fill in the chart with some of the best ones. Type a name (quit going "anonymous") and you'll get credit on the page if I use it.


Anonymous said...

I can't accept Jeffrey Donovan as Worst Supporting Actor! Him and James Butler Harner (the murderer) were the only things that kept me interested in the film at all. The accent was a little hokey, but blame Eastwood for that - and for any other failings you thought he might have had. You nailed it in yesterday's article - actor's generally need more than one or two takes per scene. I think most of them are just too embarrassed to ask Sir Clint for any more.

Fox said...

I agree with you on the twilight logo. It looks like branding for a teen-marketed shampoo that you'd find at a store somewhere in between a Claire's and Hot Topic.

Anonymous said...

I Actually fought that Scarlett Johansson was great in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Mamma Mia! isn't one of the worst movie this year, it was entertaining. But i am glad you thought Twilight was one of the worst movies this year.

According to me the Worst movie of 2008 was You Don't Mess With Zohan.

Catherine said...

Hear, hear for shared Thandie Newtown what-the-fck'ness. I cannot get enough of people ragging on that pitch-awful perf. I think its because I saw W at a Friday matinee showing, on my own, and therefore had nobody beside me to share my combined bafflement/horror/glee at her bizarre facial contortions. I mean, really. What was she doing?

I also really hated Robert Pattinson. By some weird quirk of schedueling, I ended up seeing the film on its opening night, in a packed cinema, with my best friend. She had read the books and was a fan. I hadn't, and wasn't, and mentally prepared myself for the inevitable fangirl reactions from the audience. I was wrong. The film was roundly mocked by everyone in attendence. People guffawed loudly at all the quasi-romantic and soulful bits. Struck up loud conversations during any suspense-filled moments. And best of all, the entire cinema erupted whenever Pattinson did another of his moody looks. The absolute worst moment was the scene where Bella first sits beside him in biology class, and he begins to gag and squirm. Dreadful.

Helen Hunt (who I actually like, mostly) not only looked as if she were doing an impression of my high school geography teacher in Then She Found Me, but also looked as if she could barely keep her eyes open. Lady, you directed the picture! At least TRY and stay alert throughout. Also, the casting of Salman Rushdie as the doctor made me inordinately angry. Why was he there? He's a recognisable enough face to jolt you out of movieland whenever he appears on screen, and his part wasn't even a meta version of himself or anything vaguely interesting or clever. All he had were one or two "doctory" lines, like "Lie back" or "Here are your test results". No. Does not work. A world of fail, Hunt.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't The Spirit be represented here?

Anonymous said...

1. In terms of annoying trends, did it both anybody else that Phillip Seymour Hoffman attracts Emily Watson, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton AND Catherine Keener at one point or another besides basically being repulsive (his body rebels on him, giving him weird shit, seizures, like twelve different surgeries, but he's still sexually attractive to these ladies? Dear god, Charlie, get over your own fucking ego and take your head out of your ass).

2. The overpraised "Let the Right One In" - Yes, it's well shot and an intriguing take on the vampire mythos. But it also has a strange way to justify it's own over the top violence (the ending really turned me against the film).

3. My third favourite film of the year still doesn't have a distributor (A Necessary Death).

4. Undiscussed moral wankery: at least The Dark Knight questioned it's conservative leanings. Wanted embraced it. As much as I love James McAvoy, I hated the ending to Wanted. Also, The Visitor sorta bugged me in this category (Jenkins' performance isn't that amazing, people).

5. High profile foreign language films can't find distributors. Distributors don't have the guts to release films properly (guts or money). Withholding until the end of the year.

6. Now that every city has it's own critics award, why does every award have to be predictable in nature? The Sideways sweep foretold a grim future.


it sure did


I did not see THE SPIRIT

Anonymous said...

Aren't these awards a little premature then? :-)

Unless you have no intention of ever watching The Spirit, which would be understandable.

Hayden said...

Thandie Newton was so horrifically terrible in W. If she had a single good friend in that cast or crew, they would have told her. What was with that voice? Those mannerisms? I remember leaving thinking she distinctly reminded me of Steve Urkel.


I have no intention. I need to get on with my awards and i can only see so many movies in december (curse the stupid distribution situation that even crowds non-Oscar hopefuls and teeny arthouse only films into December!)

Nick M. said...

Schizophrenic America/Critics:

Two heavily-praised "crossover" films I am not ambivalent in my hatred of, The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire, were lauded for their (calculated) nihilism and optimism, respectively.

Spare me the long-essay, 3,000 word alt-weekly piece on the nation's post-election cinematic flip-flop: it's no reason to extol sloppy, pandering films simply because they confirm your mood.

Hayden said...

I'm actually ridiculously unenthused about this year in general. It's pretty sad. I need some award shows to change my mind.

James Colon said...

I tried to convince myself that the 4th Indiana Jones was at least entertaining escapism (I don't know why, I'm not a particular fan of the series overall), but the more you look back at that film, the more you realize that its purely atrocious.

Probably the most disappointing movie of 2008, cause I think a lot of people really wanted to love it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else get the impression that Pattisson is completely embarrassed about being in Twilight?

Calum Reed said...

In agreement, especially with Thandie and Hayden (who is also unwatchably smug in Awake) but I did go "Eh?" to your choice of Jeffrey Donovan, who I thought gave the best performance in Changeling.

Kurtis O said...

- 'Stop-Loss' was one of my worst of the year. A film that's supposed to expose people like me to the horrors and after-effects of the war in Iraq served up nothing but southern fried, shell-shocked soldier cliches. The pity I felt for those characters had nothing to do with the Middle East.

- Thank you for reiterating the awfulness of Thandie Newton in 'W.' In my screening, there were laughs galore whenever she was on screen, tragically confirming the feeble intelligence of the average moviegoer (wow, that even stung to type). A lot of people expressed to me how spot-on they thouht she was. I had a hard time finding the words to respond.

- Cheers to the diss of 'Prince Caspian.' As a devout fan of the 'Lord of the Rings,' one of my biggest cinematic pet peeves is the sausage factory that is Lackluster Fantasy Flicks. They're cranked out crazily and carelessly, and the 'Narnia' franchise is the flagship offender. I can't stand any of those kids, I don't believe that place exists even in a cinematic realm, and the films' vast success is simply perpetuating this awful trend (see, er, don't see: 'The Spiderwick Chronicles,' a.k.a. David Strathairn's saddest moment).

- It's official: I'm the only person on Earth (besides Ebert) who enjoyed 'The Women.' Never in my life have I championed a film that was so universally reviled. It's flabbergasting to me, really, that people were so offended by it. It's a throwaway flick, for sure, but I found it, if anything, totally harmless. The female response to it is particularly harsh. Guess I don't understand women as much as I thought I did. It' a good thing I'm gay.

- Great stuff, Nat, as usual

Benji said...

Did you watch The Other Boleyn Girl, Nat? Because it should also feature on here. I was particularly shocked about the film's suggestion that Anne Boleyn's evil, feminine cunning made Henry VIII split from the Catholic church. That is an atrocious concept of history!

I was also offended by the excessive violence in Wanted. A train visibly full of passengers crashes down from a bridge. But who cares about the people inside who probably all died? No, let's just show some cool fighting between the lead characters, never mind any casualties that don't fit into our storyline. I find this contempt for life really gross.

Clint Eastwood's growling in Gran Torino was pretty ridiculous. Performance of a lifetime? I don't think so! Rather the portrayal of the world as Grandpa Eastwood sees it: greedy children and grandchildren, evil hoodlums and innocent asians that manly Clint needs to protect. Ahem...

Totally agree with your thoughts on Jumper, exactly my feelings about the film.

That was about it ;-)
Thanks for letting me gripe.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally agree Hayden Christensen's mention. He should quit the movies right now!!!. He's a Abercombrie model trying to act!. Thandie Newton's performance is the question: Is she doing a drama, a SNL sketch olr what? Unleast she's badly funny!

I'm agree about FOx's comment.. Mamma Mia! is unleast entertaining and Amanda Seyreid and Meryl Streep did good performances. The worst of all cast is, without doubt, Pierce Brosnan... He should win that supporting actor award.

Twilight is a complete mess, but unleast Pattinson trying to leave the topics for his character and create Edward, but Stewart is simple awful. She has the mouth open in every scene and the same face of dumbass!!

Message to Uma Thurman: Fired your agent and try to get better roles in better films

Joe Reid said...

Oh, Scarlet and Hayden, my poor reviled darlings. This world was never meant for those as beautiful as you.

Mikadzuki said...

Personally I would give Worst Supporting Actress honors to Meryl's buddies in Mamma Mia, with their archaic oh-crap-is-this-really-happening-bad slapstick. But then again I haven't seen The Women....

And I agree with (most) people's sentiments about Indy 4. It isn't really fun from any point of view. Just tedious.

Anonymous said...

I personally thought Hudson was about 20 million times worse than Newton. THe worst individual line readin, " MY VERY OWN LOUIS VUITTON BAG?!?!!??!?!?!", aso belongs to Hudson. I also would've put Jada Pinkett Smith ahead of both messing and mendes. I have never seen a more stereotypical impression of a lesbian portrayed on film. Eva Mendes simply gets a, "Worst Career Achievement" award based on pretty much everything she has done thus far in her "career".

Completely agree with Donovan and Brosnan as worst suppporting acotrs, though I would've alos thrown into Diego Luna's ridiculously over-the-top performance in "Milk". Though maybe it only seemed bad becasue he was surrounded by one of the finest groups of actors currently working? I really can't say.

But I can say one thing, your top ten worst list was spot on.

Anonymous said...

Towelhead was easily the worst cinematic experience I had this year. Sure, films like The Love Guru or You Don't Mess With the Zohan are probably worse, but this was an Alan Ball film with Aaron Eckhart and Toni Collette! Constantly trying (and failing) to shock (racism, bloody tampons, pedophilia, masturbation, abuse, etc.), it never stops hitting the viewer over the head with its "Look how fucked up we ALL are!" message. This film was thoroughly unpleasant to watch.

Honorable mention:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. My friend took me out to see it after I was diagnosed with an STD. If anything, it made me feel worse.

Hayden said...

Oh yeah and I'm a bit peeved Angelina Jolie didn't make your worst actress lineup.

Kurtis O said...

Omg, Anonymous! There's honesty and then there's HONESTY. I suggest you send that jaw-dropping comment to Lucas and Spielberg while they're still working on the fifth installment. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Hee Kurtis. I should probably add two more things:
- Turns out I was misdiagnosed.
- Crystal Skull still sucked.

Sid said...

I think Emile Hirsch should've won Worst Actor hands down but I'll let that pass (since he redeemed himself with Milk).

Anonymous said...

My pet peeve/annoying trend is pieces that talk about how real-world events make such and such a movie more popular, or a more viable Oscar candidate - pre-election, an Obama loss would have meant a BP win for The Dark Knight! If Prop 8 doesn't pass, Milk will win best picture!

Also, Phillip Seymour Hoffman being praised & nominated for awards, regardless of the performance (i.e. Doubt) irritates me to no end. Lastly, the fact that the Batman series has and will continue to make non-Batman Christian Bale roles fewer and farther between.

Sally Belle said...

Oh Benji...I think I love you.

Couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Kurtis O.,

I liked “The Women” too.

Although I know it is not as good as Cukor’s original film I consider Diane English’s adaptation a delicately conceived and light-hearted little comedy with an interesting female cast and good performances by Meg Ryan and Annette Bening (so sexy when she says… “Wednesday is not good”, OMG, I adore Annette Bening!).


Your “Hall of Shame” is OK to me.

I didn’t like “Mamma Mia”… I specially hated Julie Walters’ performance there, it was consistently clichéd and unfunny during the whole running time.

My disagreements are “The Women” (C+/B- in my opinion) and “The Life Before Her Eyes” (a solid B- to me).

“The Life Before Her Eyes” is an interesting and handsome little dramatic thriller that reminded me (a little bit) “La Bestia nel Cuore”. I think the movie is well done and pretty well acted by the three leading ladies (Uma, Evan and Eva!) but maybe the script needed more development, particularly concerning to Uma Thurman’s character and the film’s ending… I read your review and I actually think you’re right in some aspects but my overall impression is that you’re being too harsh on this flick.


Neb said...

How about the trend of actors seemingly uninterested in being in the posters. Look at Katherine Heigl in the 27 Dresses poster, Kristen Stewart in Twilight, Michelle Williams in Deception, even Harrison Ford in the first Indiana Jones poster.

Add that to your miscellaneous stupidity

Brian24 said...

I just don't get Doubt. A good movie? Yes (well, pretty good). A best picture contender? No way. I thought Viola Davis was amazing, simply because she can make her nose run when she cries. But is there anyone who really found that scene believable ("What kind of a mother are you?")? And the last scene made me want my money back. But the most irritating part for me is the all hype over the performances. I couldn't help thinking that Meryl's habit accentuated her face so much that I couldn't get past the fact that I was watching Meryl Streep play a tough as nails nun (who I found to be both less bitchy and less lovable than Miranda Priestly at the same time) with an on again off again sorta New York accent. Phillip Seymour Hoffman will likely be nominated again for a role he could do in his sleep simply because he yells a lot (Charlie Wilson's War anyone?). And if Marisa Tomei gets snubbed (again) in the Oscar noms in favor of Amy Adams playing the innocent role (again)...

Tormentor Azaron said...

Most satisfying Death/Most Annoying Character - Guy holding the camera in Cloverfield. could stand the rest of them somehow - but I didn't see a movie get so much better as a character left since Collin Farrel left The New World (But then he returned. blurgh)

The Needlessest CGI - Anything Indiana Jones 4 with those gopher things coming way up on top.

Weirdest racism - In Zohan, Israel is a disco heaven where everybody does everything with hummus. Well, We don't like disco ( we prefer electrical) and thina is better.

Most missed potential - since Iron Man is probably going downhill from here, and TDK is way too serious and pompous, we have missed the one true potential of discussing how superheros would have handled real life (much like Enchanted missed cartoons in real life) - all because Akiva Goldsman needed a background/villian thing.

Weird Category Fraud- Waltz with Bashir Being a documentary.
autobiographical? for sure. But it's as much documentary as it is a musical - you know.. not.

Also: Most Unnecessary Ending- Waltz with Bashir. After creating such a complex and interesting world he ruins it with real life footage just to state the obvious.

Most wasted cast - Burn after reading. Out of the five - only two did very good jobs (Pitt and MacDormand ), one may have but was barely there ( Swinton), and two just didn't really do anything memorable (Malkovich and Clooney). The only great performances in that film are also by actors with limited time - J.K Simmons and Richard Jenkins. ( Most wasted actor - Jack Black doing exactly one joke in Tropic Thunder. Shame.)

Annoying Trend - All comedies becoming Apatowish. even if they are good it's still annoying.

Anonymous said...

The most annoying ending, hands down, is the *spoiler* the Bollywood dance sequence at the end of Slumdog Millionaire. It was like the movie started being City of God and it turned into Aladdin!
- Another annoying scne is Carrie in sex and the city can't get to her cell phone! WTF? Where they even trying to write this scene, it was a bit " Whatever!"
- Worst supporting actress. Kristin Davis in S& T C. Not only Charlotte is the one who's mature the least amongst this characters, but she found a way to make her character even more overwrought than usual.
- Worst supporting actress : Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Night. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz. Good character riddance!
- Worst Movie : Tropic Thunder
- Worst cameo: Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. I don't care how much he wants me to like him. I don't like that bitch!
- most underappreciated movie: The Fall
- misused talent: Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married. (I think the whoele movie, which i hated, revole around that bitch slap. I guess if you spent $11 only to watch Debra Winger get swatted is money well spent)

Beau said...


There are others that I've disliked, but I can't quite recall what they were.

Although, I do have to divert from the set path and state, in all seriousness, that I believe 'Speed Racer' is a better film than 'Iron Man.'
I will stand by that.

The former was a beautiful, exhilarating adrenaline rush, the latter bored me to tears. RDJ is strong in both of his roles this year, but come now... if we're talking about the great comedic acting role of the year, people should be throwing out accolades to Franco in 'Pineapple'. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for going at Indy 4... the movie was atrocious. Had the credits read "Michael Bay" instead of "Steven Spielberg" and "Brendan Fraser" instead of "Harrison Ford," it would have been trashed by critics and had top billing at the Razzies.

Anonymous said...

Another pet peeve: the new trend of movie posters featuring the leading character(s) faces, with little to no expression on their faces, the height of the poster (e.g. 'I've Loved You So Long,' 'Benjamin Button,' a few others). It's so uncreative and lazy, and does not raise my interest in the movies at all, regardless of who the actor is.

Jacob Passy said...

My biggest pet peeve is the trend to make the next Harry Potter. Twilight sucked, and Chronicles of Narnia took quit the nosedive from its last installment (definitely due to the lack of Tilda).

Also, I'm getting very sick of the obsession with superheros. While I did enjoy Iron Man and The Dark Night, I wish that other genres would get this attention, especially from critics.

And finally, where oh where are the days when animated films could be nominated for Best Picture (ie. Beauty and the Beast). Animation often contains amazing scripts and such beautiful imagery. I personally have found films like Spirited Away and Finding Nemo to be much more thrilling than some of the films nominated for Best Picture in their respective years. And I also find the voice acting in animated movies much more interesting than the overwrought performances in many a biopic (see Ellen Degeneres in Finding Nemo, who so deftly wielded comedy but packed the emotional punch in one of the film's final scenes.)

Anonymous said...

My pet peeve: The lazyass ad campaign that gives the audience only one image to look at for months on end. I'm looking at you, Gomorrah.

We all know the image: two shirtless guys with rifles on a riverbank. One guy makes DJ Qualls look like Schwartzenegger. The first time I saw the ad, hmm, that shot has a nice neorealistic edge to it, heard good stuff about this from festivals. But 617 times later (it's now the film's FYC ad), I gotta ask: even with zero advertising budget, can't they come up with another still? Oh, they did Photoshop the skinny guy to the left to fit narrower ad space. Yay. Is this THE pivotal moment of the film? Is Jesus Christ rising from the river as they're shooting, and that's why they had to make this the iconic image of the film? Despite all the stellar reviews, I roll my eyes whenever I see that ad, and I'm starting to lose interest in seeing the film, it's that annoying.

I agree with Jacob about trying to find the next Harry Potter. There's something so cynical about that. "Kids will buy anything if we pitch it right!"

Brian24 said...

Two things bothered me about Rachel Getting Married. First, the hand-held "home movie" camera work was unnecessary and heavy-handed, even for a wedding film. Second, the line "I wish Ethan were here" was a likely sentiment for the Rachel character, but it was said at a very odd time, and the other characters in the room hushed right before she said it instead of right after she said it. It just felt awkward to me.

Brian Darr said...

Here's a pet peeve. My 3 most memorable (therefore effective, I suppose, but also insidious) product placements of the year: a certain restaurant in Iron Man, a certain motorized vehicle manufacturer in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and a certain computer company in Wall-E.

Sally Belle said...

You know...I have to admit I've been disappointed by just about everything I've seen this year.

I've enjoyed a lot of what I've seen, but the hype is gets to such a pitch that I guess I just keep expecting more. Ah well.

Rachel Getting Married exceeded my expectations, as did The Wrestler.

I agree about some of the moments in Rachel, though, and that "I wish Ethan were here" was one of the squirmiest. He was a toddler for Christ's sake. Why at that moment would she have said that? And yes, everyone got quiet in time for that announcement. No the film wasn't perfect, but, I still dug it.

I also think Nathanial is too harsh on "Life Before Her Eyes", but then, I saw it in Toronto when it was still called "In Bloom" and I swear the new cheesy title pulls it down! I quite liked it.

Scarlett Johanson just sucks without a great director.

Twilight was poorly directed and Kristen Stewart is bored by the business and the town she grew up in.

I also think Doubt wasn't great. It was...stagey? It was...trying too hard? Dunno.

All my love today is for The Wrestler.

Anonymous said...

I personally am sick of being told that Shia Labeouf is the next big movie star. I don't like being told what actors I'm supposed to love. Also, if I ever see a single film where he actually feels like a part of thing rather than trying to have his own one man show, I might actually soil myself in shock.

Benji said...

Thanks, Sally Belle! Let's get married ;-)

I agree with so much on here.
I could add how tired I'm getting with the Judd Apatow-kind of comedy. I'm talking about Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Not only is the complete plot obvious after 5 minutes, but the dork gets the pretty girl in the end. It is never the other way round. Let's give the dorky girls some pretty boys in films!
Too sexist and lame-ass for me, that one...

Sally Belle said...

Yes...I would like to punch Hayden Christensen, can he just go off into oblivion with Mischa Barton? Although, I did believe him when he said he thought he was better then anyone. He does have that vibe.
Jamie Bell was the only redeeming thing in that crap movie.

BTW...Benji...a Scorpio Dog who goes to University in London?
Where were you 20 years ago! were six.

Anonymous said...

Agree on all the stated about Cloverfield. You just feel like slapping their faces. Plus, there was this one shot, the crowd is running away and some of them hide in a shop, so that the camera is in the shop and we see the dust coming through the shop windows and the people running. It's just that this was an (unfortunately) uforgettable image from the real 9/11. And I find it so despicable ? the use of that imagery for such cheap/low entertainment, that made me hate that movie.

One of the most annoying things it's the tendency to forget to warn about spoilers when commenting a movie. The most recent case: the ending of Slumdog. Is it so unimportant to enjoy the movie that it can be given away? It's all around the web.

The most annoying ending was that of Indiana Jones (spoiler alert).

I even bought the aliens thing (if there are crusaders waiting for centuries doing nothing, why not?) But, the wedding? Really? It's just so not Indiana Jones... I guess I'm just one of the deceived fans that had been waiting for so long. I still try to convince myself that the movie wouldn't have been so disappointing if it had been made a couple of years after Last Crusade...

Anonymous said...

Biggest Downgrade in Actng from last year: Mathieu Amalric

Most frowning in a movie ever: Will Smith in Seven Pounds

Movie most needed to be seen while on drugs to enjoy: Speed Racer

Biggest WTF? / Ripping Off Run Lola Run moment: The whole Cate Blanchett alternative reality not breaking her leg sequence if x,y, and z hadn't happened scene in Benjamin Button.

Most Confusing On-Again-Off-Again Relationship: Anne and Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl.

And I agree with nothingiswritten about the most annoying repeated image to advertize a movie being Gomorrah's guys in underwear with guns on a beach promo.

Oh and just to throw a reminder out there for you Nat, I hope you're considering Karina Fernandez as the flamenco teacher in Happy-Go-Lucky for best cameo performance. I thought she was brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of posters that don't say anything about the movie...Vicky Cristina Barcelona, besides Ben Button, is so lazy. Rebecca Hall is nowhere to be seen (even though she is probably the most prominent character in the movie), and they only want to advertise the fact that you get to watch big stars looking pretty (which is sort of what the movie amounts to in the end, but still). I thought the poster art for Melinda and Melinda was a lot more creative and appealing, so it's sad that they couldn't do the same with Vicky Cristina (think of how they COULD have incorporated Cruz as Maria Elena into some sort of creative design scheme). Huge missed opportunity.

Brian24 said...

Seven Pounds was painful. I am dreading the day Will Smith gets his "thank you for making us so much money" Oscar.

Kim said...

As a New Yorker, one of my biggest pet peeves of the year was in Cloverfield, when they somehow WALKED in the subway tunnels from Spring Street to 59th and Lex in about 10 minutes. I mean, there is suspension of disbelief and there is suspension of disbelief ;-)


kim -- that's so true. How about when they ran down 20 blocks and across seven avenues in 5 minutes?

or leaping from one apartment tower to the other after an impaling. not too mention all those stairs in no time flat.


Billy D said...

Pet Peeve of the year: As you put it, Nat, "The Magic Negro." I really didn't think Jennifer Hudson was bad at all in SATC, but she is the embodiment of that role. I know it's one of your favorites of the year, but Rachel Getting Married suffered painfully from this as well. All you have to do is set a movie in CT and it's shorthand for "repression." MY HOME STATE IS NOT THAT BAD PEOPLE! Or that white. And the black people, with all of their effusive love and "magical," "spritual," "musical" ness is just shorthand for the repressed wasps really just need some blackness to be happy. Granted, the movie was not an exploration of the demons or real functionality/dysfunctionality of the African American characters, but it could have done more to show that they were actual people and not caricatures. See also: Australia. I'm sorry, the kid was cute, but DAMN ANNOYING! More "all you need is some brown magic to heal your deadened white soul."

I'm not saying there aren't important truths to such a cultural exchange, but the simplicity is obnoxious.

Billy D said...

Thought of two more (that don't make me sound so racist:-)

1) Gay men "hugging." A pet peeve for ever and on TV as well. Colin Firth, kiss your Greek hottie for God's sake!

2) Hayley Atwell: Damn, what an annoying actress. She made me want to kill myself in "Brideshead Revisited." Damn. Ugh, let's not even mention The Duchess.

Glenn said...

I see this giant Twilight poster as I get to the top of an escalator at work and every time my eyes veer towards that ridiculous curly G and I don't get it.

I also quite liked Johansson in VCB. Her line reading of "WHAT?!" when Cruz is talking about wanting to kill her is the best bit in the movie if you ask me and I think she did the "i'm acting cool, but really i'm out of my depth" thing quite well. Oh well.

I'd definitely throw The Day the Earth Stood Still on any worst list. Thank god I didn't pay to see that. So pointless and blandly unsatisfying.

The truly worst movies I saw this year were Australian. Salvation - an insulting and demeaning religious "comedy" - The Plez - a terrible and unfunny cinema "comedy" - and the trashy multi-storylines of Five Moments of Infidelity. I hate multi-storylined movies.

I also thought Neil Marshall's Doomsday was stupid and messy and Jamie Bell was the only bright spot in Jumper. You know you're in trouble when the opening narration is putting you to sleep.

I really wish you had seen Gardens of the Night, Nat, so you could give it an "Worst Technical Achievement" award of some sort for it's make-up. These two leads have been homeless prostitutes on the streets for something like ten years and are seen sleeping on beaches and washing themselves in public restrooms and then they each have perfect hair, flawless skin and the sort of wardrobe that you would expect to see on Lindsay Lohan at a red carpet. Dreadful.

Anonymous said...

I only have two things to contribute:

1. Brideshead Revisited was the worst movie I saw this year. It had SO MUCH potential, but it was hampered with the second act not really doing anything with the interesting people we met in the first half. It meandered to nothingness and I kept looking at my watch every five minutes.

2. I don't like the lack of Lee Pace love. He appeared in two films that made my Top 10: The Fall and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day and he was fantastic in both. In fact I'm also pretty pissed that these two films are not getting any recognition whatsoever. Sigh. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

So far... (Not a lot of movies arrive in Mexico on time)

10 000 B.C.
Mamma Mia!
Meet the Spartans (WINNER!)

The directors of the five worst movies!
WINNER : Peter Berg (Hancock) OH YES! Let's have our film be 80% handheld closeups!

Michael Cera (Nick and Norah's) (DO SOMETHING ELSE ALREADY!!!)
Robert Pattinson (Twilight) (WINNER)
Steven Strait (10 000 BC)

Camilla Belle (10 000 BC)
Kristin Stewart (Twilight) (WINNER)
Charlize Theron (Hancock) (Not as awful as the others but I couldn't find anything else I disliked)

Pierce Brosnan (Mamma Mia!) (WINNER)
Cam Gigandet (Twilight) (Bad Guy 101: scowl)
Michael Welch (Twilight) (The annoying human)
Jonathan B. Wright (Nick and Norah) (I SAW U LIVE AND U WERE AWESOME...WHAT WAS THIS?!?)

Gemma Artenton (Quantum of Solace) (Something deeply annoying about this one)
Mona Hammond (10 000 BC) (WINNER) (For all of u poor souls that watched this...the Great Mother)
Nikki Reed (Twilight)

10 000 BC (CO-WINNER)
Meet the Spartans (CO-WINNER)


Best Performances in Bad Movies:
Ari Graynor in Nick and Norah's (Awesome!!!)
Julianne Moore in Savage Grace

Surprisingly it's better than the book...even if the movie was crap:

American Teen .- Because it was clearly acted all the way through...and not even well...

Coolest Thing in an Awful Movie:
Loved the mammoths in 10000 BC

Worst Cinematography:

Why the **** did I watch this?
Definetely Meet the Spartans. I mean... the FX looked cool on 10 000BC, I wanted to make fun of Twilight cuz I hate the book, I thought Hancock would be good... But WHY did I watch Meet the Spartans?

Anonymous said...

Oh and I do dare to add Christian Bale to WOrst Actor on my list...


Anonymous said...

"Catch me if you can" award for "Slumdog Millionaire"'s subtitles. They are all over the screen - instead of watching the movie you wonder where one is going to appear.
Fortunately, children in India start speaking English at a certain age. Which leads us to another award, which this one shares with a scene from "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". I know it's not serious and all but why the hell Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are shouting at one another in English?

Anonymous said...

And the award for director who KNOWS best how to work with children: Sam Mendes for "Revolutionary Road" :|

Colin Low said...

Benji: "Let's give the dorky girls some pretty boys in films!"

Juno came out last year.

Anonymous said...

I tend to skip movies that I'm sure that I'm not going to like, so I've missed many of these, e.g. "Twilight."

However, up near the very top of my worst list would be "Then She Found Me." Helen Hunt may be able to act, but she sure can't direct herself. If Bette Midler were ever capable of acting, she's now only able to overact...and don't get me started on Matthew Broderick's performance! Even the presence of the dreamy Colin Firth (who was much better in "When Did You Last See Your Father?") wasn't enough to redeem this turkey.

This year, though, I've started doing the "Meh" awards, for films which had a lot of sound and fury, and which ultimately signified nothing.

Runner-up in my "Meh" awards was "Blindness." Remember...there were bloggers at this time last year who were predicting that it would be a multiple Oscar nominee in a few weeks' time. Who could say the same now? (Incidentally, "Blindness" gets my personal award for the second most-annoying voiceover of the year; "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" takes the top spot.)

My choice for the most "Meh" film of the year, by several lengths, was "Wall-E." The story made no sense (Could the presence of one tiny little plant on Earth be enough to bring everyone back down from the spaceships?); the boy/girl robot aspect was forced and tiredly heterosexual, to say the least (robots are inanimate objects),; and the misuse of Ary Barroso's "Brasil" in the soundtrack was borderline criminal. It's only Pixar's high-quality animation which kept this from topping my "Worst Films of 2008" list.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. To think, Tom Sturridge was shafted for the lead role in Jumper days before filming began, just to make way for Hayden Christensen who was more well known.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that Disaster Movie was awful!
And during the dance off. The dancer princess was totally a man.
They could have disguised that better.